SMART DEER IRELAND

Welcome to SMARTDEER.


The SMARTDEER project - funded by DAFM and UCD - is a research program led by UCD researchers aimed at producing up-to-date distribution maps of deer species in Ireland. This is being achieved by combining historical deer data collected across the nation with new digital tools (web survey and smartphone application) able to guarantee a steady flow of deer data thanks to the help of all stakeholders and citizens involved in the research program.

Our project has been developed to work with stakeholders, for stakeholders. We are leading the first nationally-coordinated initiative of deer in Ireland by collecting and analyzing empirical data across the country that will help managers to take evidence-based decisions.

Neither the up-to-date precise distribution nor the population density of the four species of deer is currently known, and no national coordination in the collection of deer data exists. Recent advances with technologies such as smartphone applications or digital deer mapping surveys have not been implemented for Irish deer so far, and our project aims at filling these gaps by introducing tools that will allow national deer monitoring on real time.

You can find below quick facts about and the key initiatives of our project.

Quick links

Annual deer survey (ongoing)

Smartphone application (google play for androids)

Smartphone application (App store for iPhones)

Our Twitter account

Our Facebook page

Our Instagram account

Our UTube channel (video tutorials)

Annual deer survey and smart app PDF tutorials

Project description

Our initiatives

WEBTOOL # 1: Nationally-coordinated deer surveys

We are running a National Mapping Survey using a web survey application developed for this project. Expert stakeholder knowledge will be used to generate distribution maps of known deer presence. The first survey regarding distribution of deer for the period 2015-2020 is currently ongoing (take the survey below!), and this will be followed by new data collection campaigns arranged on a yearly basis.

Take the survey now! Link to the survey

WEBTOOL # 2: Smartphone application SmartDeer


We have developed a smartphone application for stakeholders to conduct systematic surveys for deer while outdoors and at home.

Our smartphone application is currently collecting deer presence and deer density data, culling returns and random sightings among the others. This is an efficient way to guarantee that deer data are collected throughout Ireland into the future.

Download the app! Available on Google Play and App Store under the name SmartDeer (by Bit by Bit)


Modelling historical and current deer data

Using recent advances in integrated species distribution and habitat modelling (INLA), we will produce the most up-to-date distribution maps of deer species in Ireland that will be accessible to stakeholders to drive land management decisions regarding deer in their respective holding. For the first time, we will adopt an all-island approach.

The final results of the project are expected to be delivered in spring 2022 when a national workshop involving all stakeholders will be organized.

Led by

Simone Ciuti, UCD assistant professor of Wildlife Biology

For project's inquiries: simone.ciuti@ucd.ie

Latest news: @UCD_Wildlife

Lab webpage: link

The SmartDeer Team


Barry McMahon, UCD associate professor of Wildlife Conservation.


Maarten Nieuwenhuis, UCD full professor of Forestry.


Charles Harper, Dissemination Manager


Sarah Keenan, Research MSc student


Kilian Murphy, PhD candidate


Virginia Morera Pujol, UCD post-doc

Barry McMahon, UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science

Funded by

Last update: Sept 2021